Difficult Conversations: Teenage Pregnancy

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by Patrice on February 26, 2011 · 6 comments

in Finish Line (15-18 years)

Just because a subject is difficult to approach doesn’t mean important teenage life issues shouldn’t be discussed with your teenager.  By the time your child has reached the finish line, you’ve probably already had ‘The Talk’ and explained sex and reproduction issues. Some single moms had good discussions with the kids, and others found it awkward. But that doesn’t mean that the subject is closed.

There are many issues related to sexual activity that your teenager faces in daily life. Ideally, you want to pass your values on to your child, but you have to be able to communicate comfortably and openly. Unfortunately, your child faces issues related to their sexual lives often enough so that you’ll get a lot of practice having these discussions and it will get easier, if not more appreciated, over time.

Teenage pregnancy is an issue that should be discussed with your sons and well as your daughters. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a rise in teenage pregnancies was seen in 2006, causing a concern that the downward trend of the previous decade may be reversing.

Many single moms think that the previous discussions about condom use, abstinence and contraceptives gives their children enough knowledge so that they will not become teenage parents. Statistics show otherwise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that one third of teenage girls will get pregnant before they are 20.

An open dialogue with your teenage increases the likelihood that they will come to you if faced with an unplanned pregnancy. This is important because proper prenatal care is vital for a healthy baby. As the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy points out, teenagers are most likely to deliver prematurely and almost 10% of infants born to teenage mothers have lower than normal birth weight. Prenatal care will help the pregnant teen follow a diet that will keep her weight under control and stress the importance of avoiding smoking and alcohol use.

Approximately 90% of teens who carry the pregnancy to full term decide that they want to keep the baby. This puts high school graduation at risk and without that diploma the likelihood of employment to provide for the child is reduced. A teenage father may feel that his best option is to drop out of school and provide support for his child.

You can’t control your teenager’s sexual activity. You can, however, have an impact on how the activity will affect the rest of your child’s life. Keep the lines of communication open, try not to judge, and start a discussion as often as you need to so that your child has the information they need to make the right choices.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie February 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I had a friend whose mom was in high school when she had her. She did sit her down and talk to her about how tough it was raising her. She made it clear that she loved her very much and was glad that she kept her but also made it known that she did not have a normal high school life because of it. She told her that she could not be a cheerleader when she was pregnant and once she was born, dances and games where a thing of the past. She never got to go out with friends either and was very sleep deprived.

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Savannah March 1, 2011 at 9:45 am

That’s a great talk to have – hopefully it’ll keep her daughter enjoying her childhood as long as she can!

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Monica February 28, 2011 at 7:28 am

Teenage pregnancy is indeed a serious issue. It’s true that it’s a difficult topic to discuss to our teenagers, but for them to be able to be safe and free from any unplanned pregnancy or parenthood we must supply them the proper education and awareness on how to avoid those kinds of matters. Let them know that they are too young to be in that state of life, and make them feel that a teenage life is full of excitement and joy, and they should not waste it.

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Savannah March 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

Stress the facts of life that come with children – while they are blessings, they’re certainly life changers!

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Gabrielle March 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

When it comes to teenage pregnancy this world has such a destorted view on sex. You can’t turn on the television without seeing someone taking their clothes off. Through television, music, computers, and peer pressure children are exposed to sex. The world has made it something that is fun and ok to do. But in reality it is hurting the child that childs parents and siblings.

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Savannah March 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

Make sure you have the necessary conversation with your kids so that these images don’t give them the wrong ideas. You can prevent their message if you provide your own.

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